The Healey administration has announced it is doling out $100M in transportation infrastructure funds to all of the state’s cities and towns resulting from revenue generated by the Fair Share Amendment (aka, Millionaire’s Tax) approved by voters about a year ago. The state added a 4% surtax on income above $1 million annually—so yes, some Wellesley residents might get to see how their new tax dollars are put to work locally.
Wellesley’s share of the overall $100M pie is $389,871 based on a couple of state formulas, one based on a combination of local road mileage, population, and employment, and the other based on each municipality’s share of road mileage. Some communities, such as Boston, Newton, and Springfield score more than $1M.
According to the Healey administration, “Communities may use Fair Share revenue for construction, preservation, and improvement projects that create or extend the life of capital facilities. This includes costs for highway projects and pedestrian and bicycle facilities. Projects that are eligible would include installing sidewalks, bicycle lanes, new pavement, sidewalks, retaining walks, crossing signals, and other transportation infrastructure features.”
With numerous big construction projects underway or under consideration in Wellesley, the town should have no shortage of transportation infrastructure improvement opportunities before it as it seeks to accommodate a growing population. The town could even soon have its first Transportation & Mobility manager in place based on how Town Meeting goes in the spring.
Update (12/21/23): Wellesley Executive Director Meghan Jop said during the Dec. 19 Select Board meeting that the money will flow through the town’s Chapter 90 fund, so increases the town’s roadway improvement funds. The money will offset some fiscal year 2024 budgetary components that will then flow back to free cash for the town.